The number of people applying to purchase guns in Colorado jumped after the massacre at a midnight screening of the latest Batman movie here, state figures show.
The shootings in the wee hours of Friday morning left 12 people dead and 58 wounded.
Later that day, the Colorado Bureau of Investigation approved background checks for 1,216 applicants through the state’s online application system, known as InstaCheck, agency spokeswoman Susan medina said. That was 38% more than the previous Friday.
The average number of approvals for Fridays in July 2011 was 710, Medina said.
Over the weekend, 1,671 background checks were approved, compared with 1,132 the previous weekend — a 48% increase.
“It’s been insane,” Jake Meyers, an employee at Rocky Mountain Guns and Ammo in Parker, told the Denver postan Monday. When he arrived at work Friday, he said, 15 to 20 people were waiting outside the store. Basic firearms classes that the store offers were booked up for the next three weeks, he said.
Brad Lightner, general manager at the Firing-Line gun shop and shooting range in Aurora, said he had seen more foot traffic, more sales and more interest in gun safety classes since the shootings.
“It’s been busy since this weekend, so it would appear that it’s due to the news of the tragedy that occurred,” he said. “The people that I’ve spoken to are interested in personal protection.”
Similar spikes were reported after other mass shootings, including last year’s attack in Tucson and the 2007 shootings at Virginia Tech University.